Friday, February 20, 2009

Oscar Munoz, Narciso

One of my favorite artists these days...Oscar Munoz deals so elegantly with memory and identity, and with such a perfect marriage of technique and concept. Here, he has used a silkscreen to screen charcoal powder onto water, and then the water slowly drains from the sink. Watch the video until the end to see the dissolution of the image/identity/memory.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Boom is Over. Long Live the Art!

The following is a quote from an article by Holland Cotter in the New York Times. I have to say - the tone of this article sometimes grated against me - but it does give a good (though heavily filtered) sweeping overview of the art world - and I like the few suggestions that are contained in this excerpt. With the opportunities our school has to offer, I think we are pretty far along the way towards living out some of these ideas......

Here goes:

It’s day-job time again in America, and that’s O.K. Artists have always had them — van Gogh the preacher, Pollock the busboy, Henry Darger the janitor — and will again. The trick is to try to make them an energy source, not a chore.

At the same time, if the example of past crises holds true, artists can also take over the factory, make the art industry their own. Collectively and individually they can customize the machinery, alter the modes of distribution, adjust the rate of production to allow for organic growth, for shifts in purpose and direction. They can daydream and concentrate. They can make nothing for a while, or make something and make it wrong, and fail in peace, and start again.

Art schools can change too. The present goal of studio programs (and of ever more specialized art history programs) seems to be to narrow talent to a sharp point that can push its way aggressively into the competitive arena. But with markets uncertain, possibly nonexistent, why not relax this mode, open up education?

Why not make studio training an interdisciplinary experience, crossing over into sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, poetry and theology? Why not build into your graduate program a work-study semester that takes students out of the art world entirely and places them in hospitals, schools and prisons, sometimes in-extremist environments, i.e. real life? My guess is that if you did, American art would look very different than it does today.

Such changes would require new ways of thinking and writing about art, so critics will need to go back to school, miss a few parties and hit the books and the Internet. Debate about a “crisis in criticism” gets batted around the art world periodically, suggesting nostalgia for old-style traffic-cop tastemakers like Clement Greenberg who invented movements and managed careers. But if there is a crisis, it is not a crisis of power; it’s a crisis of knowledge. Simply put, we don’t know enough, about the past or about any cultures other than our own.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Buck shot

Down the Barrel by Riah Buchanan, 2009

During some recent web browsing I came across a great example of peer to peer critiquing from Cranbrook Academy. While our large class size here doesn't necessarily allow for the level of insight and detail this critique delves into, there are some worthy things to consider:

a) a description of the item in detail: materials, methods, appearance
b) an interpretation of the possible meaning of the piece based on the observations of materials, methods and appearance
c) a conceptual outline drawing on a source outside of art (here, psychology)
d) a link to an art historical source-an artist who has worked/is working in a similar vein.
e) conclusion: Does the piece work? What can be improved?

I highly recommend that everyone takes a moment to read this evaluation. It could be a valuable tool when critiques roll around (READ: in two weeks) or if a friend asks what you think of their work.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Have you all heard about the Art-O-Mat project?

There is a guy who decided to revamp vending machines and fill them with art for the masses! You can submit your art work (there are specifications on the website. It must be an edition of at least 50), and people can buy it from the vending machines for $5. 
It is perfect for small prints, artist books, and zines.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

cards cards cards!!!

The above pics are from Anne Taintor, inc. and Mikwright cards. Both of these companies make all kinds of things in the vein of kitschy humor that I think would sell well. Their websites might be a good source for some inspiration.... Remember, our current goal is to make as many cards as we can by Friday, and then we will see where we can go from there.